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Full text of "Gateway Gazette"

IR^^mnj Community Colfeae 

(HM 1 



W 

Printed on 
Recycled Paper 




www.rcc.mass.edu 



Special Issue -Late Spring 2012 



FREE 




Dear Roxbury Community College Family: 

It has been a difficult month in the Massachusetts media for our college. 
Stories in the local media have raised concerns we take very, very seriously. I 
am writing to you today to tell you that despite what you may have heard or 
read, there are no partnerships or job-creating business alliances that we would 
ever turn away. Our concern is your future, and that means working tirelessly to 
engender synergies with Massachusetts corporations. 

On a far more serious topic, it was recently written that RCC has failed to file 
accurate crime reports to the U.S. Department of Education. We understand our 
obligations regarding these reports and are meeting with the federal officials to 
discuss their concerns. I am confident that we will resolve any misunderstandings 
or discrepancies identified in our filings and bring this matter to a satisfactory 
conclusion. Whether it be the proper filing of crime reports or the timely 
disbursement of financial aid, it is imperative that all of the administrative 
systems at RCC are working at a level that helps our students and their families. 

In closing, I want to say that I understand that while seeing news coverage like 
this about our institution can be difficult and upsetting, what keeps me inspired 
are the many good things happening at RCC. My pride is most exemplified by 
our graduating class this week — the largest in RCC's history. Thank you for your 
dedication to the college and for your continued support. 

Sincerely, 

Terrence A. Gomes 
President 



ATTACKS ON RCC LEAD TO AN 
OUTPOURING OF SUPPORT 
FROM THE COLLEGE COMMUNITY 



By Judy Kahalas 

Editor of The Gateway Gazette 

A series of articles attacking the Col- 
lege that were recently published in 
The Boston Globe has incited the campus 
and community to respond. Professor 
Richard Eells (Math), President of the 
union's campus chapter, called an emer- 
gency meeting in which members of the 
faculty and professional staff outlined 
a three-point plan that included letter- 
writing, rallies, and faculty and staff 
presence at another emergency meeting, 
this time of the Board of Trustees. 

Under attack by The Globe's Adrian 
Walker is the leadership of the college. 
On May 7, Walker alleged that President 
Terrence Gomes failed to respond to 
"the state's most prominent movers and 
shakers" who came to the college in " 
a string of limousines" to offer a job 
training program that would guarantee 
jobs to students participating in their pi- 
lot internship initiative. 



The President of Bunker Hill Com- 
munity College, Mary Fifield, was por- 
trayed as embracing the program and 
seemed incredulous that Gomes would 
not do the same. However, Gomes has 
emphatically denied turning away the 
members of MCP (Massachusetts Com- 
petitive Partnership). He claims that the 
meeting, unexpected due to scheduling 
snafus, was cordial and that the college 
did not indicate that they were not in- 
terested in participating in the program. 

In a second article, written on May 12, 
Walker highlighted problems with the 
disbursement of Financial Aid checks to 
the students. Although this did happen 
due to a computer glitch and problems 
with advising tools, Lisa Carter, Direc- 
tor of Advising on campus, spoke to the 
need to carefully reconstruct student re- 
cords to ensure that this would not hap- 
pen in the future. Each student record, 
dating back several years, had to be re- 
viewed individually and staff remained 
on campus late into the night to ensure 
that this was done as quickly and thor- 




oughly as possible. Checks to students 
were mailed last week. 

Walker also mentioned the low gradu- 
ation rates at RCC but failed to note that 
this was similar at many of the state's 
community colleges. Walker also failed 
to explore the many underlying reasons 
why graduation rates are low, such as 
transfers, non-degree seeking students, 
etc. 

On May 15 Walker noted the pres- 
ence of federal agents on campus to 
investigate "serious lapses in (the col- 
lege's) reporting of crimes committed 
on campus." The crimes, according to 
The Globe, included three reported sex- 
ual assaults on students. 

The editorial that was published on 
May 16 calls for Gomes' resignation. 
Many on campus think that the attacks 
on Gomes and the College are part of 
an overarching plan to turn community 
colleges into workforce training pro- 
grams and to integrate Roxbury Com- 
munity College and Bunker Hill Com- 
munity College. 



You can join our Twitter 
campaign by adding 
#istandwithrcc to your tweet. 



Dear Colleagues: 

After reading Adrian Walker's col- 
umn, "Taking a Pass on the Future" 
( Boston Globe - May 7, 2012), I am com- 
pelled to write and correct gross inac- 
curacies. I was Interim Dean of STEM 
at the time, and President Gomes had 
asked me to be part of the group that 
would meet with Mr. Swanson, Ms. Sen, 
Mr. Fish and Mr. O'Connell. 

The first inaccuracy is that the meet- 
ing did not take place in the Fall. This 
group came unannounced on February 
28, 2011. My recollection is that Dr. 
Gomes asked us to keep three possible 
dates open in February for this meet- 
ing, the last one being February 28th. 
However, by the morning of the 28th, 
no one had called to set up the meeting; 
yet, on the morning of the 28th, there 
they were. When they arrived unexpect- 
edly, I received a call from Dr. Gomes' 
office asking me to come immediately 
to the Administration Building to meet 
with our visitors. 

Secondly, at no time during the un- 
expected meeting, did President Gomes 
refused to accept their offer of the 
"learn and earn" program. In fact, 
when they left they said they looked for- 
ward to working with us and that they 
would get back to us with the next steps. 
Although we were not happy with the 
surprise visit, (we had a Power Point 
that we did not get to show), we were 
ready to work with them. I, personally, 
contacted Mr. Swanson later that week 
(March 3, 2011) to talk about our En- 
gineering Program and how could it fit 



into their vision. (He responded the 
same day.) 

Third, I think we have all witnessed 
the efforts of President Gomes in trying 
to make this college fulfill its promise to 
the community. He would have no rea- 
son not to accept a program that would 
help our students succeed. 

Finally, Mr. Walker characterized our 
enrollment as "languishing". It would 
interest him to know that, in the last few 
years, our enrollment has increased by 
26%. 

Apparently Mr. Adrian Walker is not 
into following the journalistic time-hon- 
ored tradition of checking facts before 
writing a column or a news story. 

I hope this clarifies this situation. 

Kyrsis 

Kyrsis R. Rodriguez, Ph.D. 
Professor of Science 
Roxbury Community College 



Log in to Express your Opinions 
By Jenene Cook, Dean of 
Instructional Technology 

Dialogue for the "Stand up for 

RCC" campaign has now gone 

viral. If you would like to express 

your opinion, please follow this 

link: 

standupforrcc. wordpress. com 



2 Roxbury Community College Gateway Gazette - Special Issue - Late Spring 201 2 



An open letter to Adrian Walker: 

Hi, Mr. Walker. It's us again, those poor folk down at Roxbury Community College. Under the leadership of President 
Terrence Gomes: 

■ RCC has increased enrollment by 26% (over the last five years). 

■ RCC is graduating historic numbers of students, over 350, the last two years running. 

■ RCC is graduating approximately 375 students this year. Some of these are going to Tufts, Bentley, Leslie, Simmons, 
Northeastern, Mass. College of Pharmacy and Allied Health, Boston University, Salem State, and other equally well- 
regarded institutions of higher education. Here are some specific achievements of a few of our students: 

• Tabitha Marie Johnson, who graduated with honors from Roxbury Community College last December, has been 
awarded a full Chancellor's Scholarship for Excellence at UMass Boston. 

• Schaneque Barrows, a Biotechnology student at RCC, has won first place for the 2012 Ruth and William Silan MD 
award. Schaneque presented a poster at the New England Science Symposium sponsored by Harvard Medical 
School. 

• The National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association named three RCC student- athletics to the NJCAA All-Ameri- 
can Teams. Tyler Kimball and Siara Lowry were named to the women's basketball team, and Paul Becklen was named 
to the men's team. 

• Tyler Kimball has been selected as a Collegiate Ail-American, and for the next year her jersey will be hanging in the 
Knoxville Hall of Fame Ring-of-Honor. This is the second year in a row for RCC. Jesika Holmes was last year's 
Collegiate All- American. On May 1st, her jersey was replaced by Tyler's. 

• RCC student, Maxwell Opara, was selected as one of the 201 1 "29 Who Shine" The 29 were graduating seniors 
representing the very best from each of the 29 state universities and community colleges. Opara was selected for his 
outstanding academic performance, his GPA is 3.51, and for his volunteer and community service work. 

■ RCC has launched its first ever and very successful Capital Campaign. 

■ RCC received $20.7 million bond funding for a new Life Sciences Center and we are currently working with an architect 
on developing our site plan. 

■ RCC has received over 5 million in grants. Here are some specific details on the grants: 

• In September 2011, President Terrence A. Gomes and Vice President Brenda Mercomes presided over a Ribbon 
Cutting Ceremony to launch several new Title III funded, learner-centered classrooms. The classrooms are part of 
the Developing Academic Readiness through Technology (DART) project. The DART project is a five-year, $2 mil- 
lion effort aimed at improving student persistence and graduation rates by utilizing technology. 

• RCC was awarded a $750,000 Department of Labor grant for Workforce Development. 

• Roxbury Community College has been awarded a $30,000 planning grant for the Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment 
(ICE) Partnership Program for Students with Disabilities. 

• RCC's Gardens and Orchard program was awarded $50,000 from the Department of Neighborhood Development 
for the further expansion of the College's gardens. 

• RCC's Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Division was awarded an Energy in Science Teaching 
(BEST) grant. BEST is a $2.1 million dollar National Science Foundation Phase II Math-Science Partnership grant. 
Through this grant, RCC will continue to work with the University of Massachusetts, Northeastern University, and 
Boston Public Schools as an extension of the College's work with the Boston Science Partnership. 

■ RCC is a recognized national leader college under the nationally-renown 'Achieving the Dream" initiative. 

■ Roxbury Community College's Corporate and Community Education Department, within the Division of Continuing 
Education, is offering four new programs starting in the spring 2012 semester: Veterinary Assistant Program, Elec- 
tronic Health Record Specialist Program, Ophthalmic Medical Assistant Program and Professional Pharmacy Techni- 
cian Program. These exciting programs are specifically designed to meet workforce needs. 

■ Dr. Khudairi, Dean of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) is Roxbury Community College's first pro- 
fessor to receive the prestigious Fulbright Scholar Award. Dr. Khudairi taught pathophysiology courses and conducted 
research on quality assurance and assessment of STEM programs at the University of Jordan, Faculty of Pharmacy, 
in Amman, Jordan. 

■ RCC English Professor, Ken Tangvik has published a new book, Don't Mess with Tanya: Stories Emerging from 
Boston's Barrios. 

■ Nikolaus Sucher, Adjunct Professor in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Division is co-editor 
and contributor of three chapters to a new book published by Humana Press. The book is titled Plant DNA Finger- 
printing and Barcoding Methods and Protocols. Professor Sucher is joined by co-editors Professor James R. Hennell, 
of the University of Western Sydney, Penrith, NSW, Australia and Professor Maria C. Carles of Northern Essex Com- 
munity College in Massachusetts. 

■ Alane K. Shanks, Ed.D, former Vice President of Administration and Finance, became the 10th president of Pine 
Manor College in Chestnut Hill, MA, on July 15, 2011. During her five and a half year tenure as RCC's CFO, from 
2006 to 2011, the College achieved financial stability, implemented budget management linked to the strategic plan, 
improved science labs, made the campus greener, and improved customer service delivery in the Business Office, Facili- 
ties, and Human Resources. 

■ The National Center of Afro-American Artists and Roxbury Community College in association with Quincy Geneva 
Housing Corporation presented Black Nativity in the Media Arts Center Mainstage at RCC. 



Dear Mr. Walker: 

Thank you for taking your time to re- 
spond to me. 

Please understand that this is not 
a personal attack in any way but a re- 
sponse to your articles with are loaded 
with half-truths and misinformation 
about our college. You have a posi- 
tion where you can reach thousands of 
people with your opinion column. You 
must understand that your words may 
be misused against low income students 
and immigrants and that when you at- 
tack an institution, you are attacking 
everyone at the workplace and at an aca- 
demic institution, all students who have 
gone to the college may be suffering 
the effects of your words as they ripple 
across the businesses and institutions of 
Massachusetts. I am sure you can imag- 
ine how that may affect our students of 
color as they try to apply for jobs in Bos- 
ton, or did you bother to consider that 
before printing your column? None of 
the positive things that I have done or 
my hard-working colleagues have ever 
done has ever been reported by the Globe 
to my knowledge. Why is that? 

Regarding my letters to you, I am pro- 
voked by your attack in your column, 
and simply responding to you to fight 



back for sake of my students, particu- 
larly those who have worked very hard 
to get to the point where they are ready 
to go to a four year college. You are 
attacking our entire community and dis- 
crediting our institution, who deserve 
better by maligning the reputation of 
our college. Did you expect me to sit 
back and be okay with that? What about 
the students here? 

When you stop attacking the college 
with false accusations and calling for 
our president to step down I will stop 
saying that you refuse to print our let- 
ters. Do you have a PhD in education? 
What gives you the credentials to ask for 
our President of a college to step down 
when you can't even disclose the sources 
for the facts reported your opinion col- 
umn? 

How was your "6%" calculated? I 
don't think the public has access to the 
equation and these numbers. All I know 
is this year we have 325 students gradu- 
ating and -2,300 enrolled. 

325/2300 = . In addition here and at 
other colleges where I teach, many stu- 
dents just take the prerequisite classes 
and then leave to enter the programs 
they are interested in. Many of us con- 
sider this success even though they do 



not graduate with an associate's degree 
in their hands. 

I do not wish to argue with you back 
and forth. This is not I only ask for you 
to acknowledge the fact that your sourc- 
es were biased and do not reflect all of 
the facts correctly. 

Our former interim Dean Kyrsis Ro- 
driguez is cc'd on this email. My under- 
standing is that her letter was received 
by "The Globe" a few days ago but will 
not be printed. 

Please reconsider your position for 
the sake of this community. I consider 
our communications closed until you 
offer an apology to Roxbury Commu- 
nity College for the damage you have 
done to our reputation with your words. 

Best, 

Kimberly Stieglitz 

Professor of Science, Roxbury Commu- 
nity College 



Dear Adrian Walker, 

I am uncertain whether I write you as 
a fellow- journalist (26 years with "The 
Fenway News," Boston's only remaining 
community newspaper), or as a 32-year 
Mathematics teacher, the last three of 
which I have largely spent at Roxbury 
Community College. Both of these per- 
spectives inform what I say to you. 

And I write to you directly, not to the 
editor, since it is evident that the Globe 
has chosen not to print any letters in de- 
fense of RCC. So I appeal to both your 
sense of caring for our community and 
your integrity as a journalist, and hope 
you will draw appropriate conclusions. 

You mention the alleged 6% gradu- 
ation figure. You surely realize that 
we teach those whom nobody else will 
serve. Most of our mathematics stu- 
dents place into 'developmental' track: 
This means they have no grasp of high 
school material. We work with them. 
Many take the remediation and go on to 
other things they could not do before. 
Is that a waste? A scandal? 

I must tell you about a couple of 
the 94% who do not graduate, and who 
thus so scandalize you and titillate your 
suburban readers. One woman I had in 
class was taking math because her 13- 
year old grandson was having trouble, 
and she wanted to help him. Where 
but RCC would she go? And a young 
man I had last fall, I just ran into. "Ste- 
phon, where have you been?" I asked. 
"Oh, I'm at UMass now", he answered. 
Should RCC refuse to enroll such stu- 
dents, in order to raise its almighty grad- 
uation rate? I consider these two cases 
outstanding successes, and surely you 
must too. But they are among the 94% 
that so concerns you. 

You write, with no evidence and con- 
trary to all fact, that the vibrant and lov- 
ing RCC community is "languishing." 
I can tell you this: There has already 
been a remarkable transformation in the 
mathematics I teach even in the three 
years I have been at RCC. We have so 
much new technology your head would 
spin. I have undergone more profes- 
sional development in my short time 
at RCC than in all the rest of my career 
combined! ? This, by the way, all while 
the supposedly ineffectual Dr. Gomes 
has led RCC. 

Perhaps prior to Dr. Gomes' tenure, 
Mathematics may have languished at 
RCC, but now we have strong common 
course standards, regular communica- 
tions among teachers, and supplemen- 
tary computer laboratory integrated 
into the courses. I have watched stu- 
dents thrive. One young lady I had only 
3 years ago, in BASIC MATH, is next 



Friday graduating with honors, in a bio- 
technology program. She just wrote me 
a note to thank her math program for 
making the rest possible. Why do you 
not write about her? 

Mr. Walker: If you would look at 
full-time matriculated students, you will 
find that RCC is up there with the lead- 
ers among schools that serve the popu- 
lation we serve. Did you fact-check this? 

Mr. Walker: I understand why a Tito 
Jackson, who wishes to advance his po- 
litical career and understands that his 
career depends on playing waterboy 
for downtown/ suburban and bio-tech 
interests if he is to have a future, would 
bash RCC. But you are a journalist, 
with front-page exposure. Yet again 
and again, you gullibly print what you 
are fed, without checking, to the great 
amusement of the Globe's white 'liberal' 
readership. 

There is a risk in this. Early in my 
writing career, I several times gullibly 
repeated what I was told, (and my edi- 
tor took me at my word), and 20 years 
later, I still cringe. We all know the 'lim- 
ousine incident' you repeated, by now. 
But you left out the part about how "the 
suits' " secretary contacted Dr. Gomes' 
secretary the day after the snafu, apolo- 
gizing for forgetting to call and schedule 
the meeting RCC leadership suppos- 
edly ducked. You should check things 
like this before risking your credibility. 
Those who feed you these lines risk 
nothing; they will remain rich and pow- 
erful, but you risk your reputation. 

On a day's notice, we faculty filled 
the boardroom after RCC's trustees, 
panicked into action by your columns, 
called a meeting to discuss the college's 
leadership. You should check up on the 
attendance, rather than refer to us as 
'a handful'. There was no more room 
there last night. We took up every seat. 
The revered Mel King also attended, 
which shows our community recognizes 
an orchestrated attack when we see one 
unfold. 

Mr. Walker: May I invite you to 
spend a day with me at RCC? We might 
both learn a lot. You could meet a lot 
of wonderful teachers and students, and 
they could meet a prominent colum- 
nist. Heck, I've never gotten to write an 
opinion column. I'd love to know what 
that is like. 

You have my contact information in 
this email. 
Best, 

Jon Ball 

Mathematics Instructor, STEM Divi- 
sion, RCC 5/14/12 



Dear Mr. Walker: 

I trust you. I know that your inten- 
tions are pure, that you hope to provide 
better opportunities for our students 
and for the good people of Roxbury, 
Dorchester, Mattapan and beyond. 
Then please tell me, as a long-time pro- 
fessor of composition and journalism, 
what were you thinking? "Languish- 
ing?" I don't think so! 

We at Roxbury Community College 
are doing some really terrific things, Mr. 
Walker. We just received a $20.7 million 
dollar bond to improve our campus and 
further develop our Life Sciences Pro- 
grams. We have partnerships with local 
area hospitals; 100% of our nursing stu- 
dents passed the NCLEX exam. This is 
huge! 

We are a leadership college for the 
national initiative called Achieving the 
Dream. We have been funded for three 
years to explore ways to support the 
many students who come in needing 
foundational support. We won a pres- 
tigious Title III Grant to shore up our 
developmental education programs by 
integrating cutting edge technology. 

Our graduating class of approximate- 
ly 375 students have gotten into Tufts, 
Emerson, Northeastern, Bentley, Sim- 
mons, Leslie, not to mention our equally 
challenging state colleges and universi- 
ties. Those who are entering the work- 



force are pursuing careers in nursing, ra- 
diology technology, biotechnology, and 
veterinary science. Others have chosen 
careers in computer science and office 
technology. Still others, lifelong learners, 
have enriched themselves and their per- 
spective of this changing society by the 
courses they have taken here. 

We have received numerous grants to 
improve teaching and learning. We have 
continuously reviewed our curricula, 
modified it to meet the challenges of 
4-year institutions and a rapidly chang- 
ing workforce. 

Here, in my Writing Center, we em- 
phasize the value of the argument. 
Sound reasoning must support opin- 
ions, like research. Sources should be 
credible and current. Do you think, per- 
haps, that you missed that class? 

So I ask you, with great respect, why 
you feel compelled to share an opinion 
that can lead to misconceptions, disap- 
pointments, and - yes - even missed 
opportunities? Our doors are always 
open for honest and open dialogue, Mr. 
Walker. Please don't hesitate to knock. 
We may be a community of color, but 
we recognize yellow. 

Prof. Judith L. Kahalas 
Coordinator of the Writing Center 
Roxbury Community College 
Secretary of the RCC Foundation 



Special Issue -Late Spring 201 2 - Roxbury Community College Gateway Gazette 3 



Dear Mr. Walker: 

Thank you for taking your time to re- 
spond to me. 

Please understand that this is not 
a personal attack in any way but a re- 
sponse to your articles with are loaded 
with half-truths and misinformation 
about our college. You have a posi- 
tion where you can reach thousands of 
people with your opinion column. You 
must understand that your words may 
be misused against low income students 
and immigrants and that when you at- 
tack an institution, you are attacking 
everyone at the workplace and at an aca- 
demic institution, all students who have 
gone to the college may be suffering 
the effects of your words as they ripple 
across the businesses and institutions of 
Massachusetts. I am sure you can imag- 
ine how that may affect our students of 
color as they try to apply for jobs in Bos- 
ton, or did you bother to consider that 
before printing your column? None of 
the positive things that I have done or 
my hard-working colleagues have ever 
done has ever been reported by the Globe 
to my knowledge. Why is that? 

Regarding my letters to you, I am pro- 
voked by your attack in your column, 
and simply responding to you to fight 
back for sake of my students, particular- 
ly those who have worked very hard to 
get to the point where they are ready to 
go to a four year college. You are attack- 
ing our entire community and discredit- 
ing our institution and students who de- 
serve better by maligning the reputation 
of our college. Did you expect me to sit 
back and be okay with that? What about 
the students here? 

When you stop attacking the college 
with false accusations and calling for 



our president to step down I will stop 
saying that you refuse to print our let- 
ters. Do you have a PhD in education? 
What gives you the credentials to ask for 
our President of a college to step down 
when you can't even disclose the sources 
for the facts reported your opinion col- 
umn? 

How was your "6%" calculated? I 
don't think the public has access to the 
equation and these numbers. All I know 
is this year we have 325 students gradu- 
ating and -2,300 enrolled. 

325/2300 = . In addition here and at 
other colleges where I teach, many stu- 
dents just take the prerequisite classes 
and then leave to enter the programs 
they are interested in. Many of us con- 
sider this success even though they do 
not graduate with an associate's degree 
in their hands. 

I do not wish to argue with you back 
and forth. This is not I only ask for you 
to acknowledge the fact that your sourc- 
es were biased and do not reflect all of 
the facts correctly. 

Our former interim Dean Kyrsis Ro- 
driguez is cc'd on this email. My under- 
standing is that her letter was received 
by "The Globe" a few days ago but will 
not be printed. 

Please reconsider your position for 
the sake of this community. I consider 
our communications closed until you 
offer an apology to Roxbury Commu- 
nity College for the damage you have 
done to our reputation with your words. 
Best, 

Kimberly Stieglitz 

Professor of Science, Roxbury Commu- 
nity College 



Mr. Walker, 

You said in your article that 2000 
students attend RCC. If everyone stays 
for two year, this makes 1000 per year. 
This commencement is going to award 
388 degrees!!! Get calculator and see for 
your self that this is not six percent. 

My engineering students have been 
transferring to UMASS, BU, Tufts, 
sometimes before graduation because 
that is their advantage. They are our 
best. But in your book that does not 
count!! 

Our students (as well as Bunker 
Hill's) have a life that makes them 
change their plans in the first month of 
the semester. Both institutions release 
the financial aid well into the semester 
to avoid erroneous disbursement. Once 
RCC had a problem and delayed it for 
one month and you say three months!! 
In case you forgot, a semester is almost 
four months. 

RCC has had a number of great suc- 
cesses at the state and national levels. I 
wonder!! 

Javad Moulai, PhD 
Secretary of Acuerdo, 
Engineering Department Chair, 
Professor , S.T.E.M. Division, 
Roxbury Community College 
1234 Columbus Ave, 
Roxbury Crossing, MA 02120 
jmoulai@rcc.mass.edu 
617-427-0060 extension 5234 



"Accentuating the Positive 
to Overcome the Negative" 




By Quentin James, Moses Mokuolu, 
and Woody Vainqueur 

What is puzzling to many at Roxbury 
Community College is why The Boston 
Globe and other media outlets have re- 
cently decided to focus solely on the 
negative aspects of RCC. Among the 
confounded is renowned educator, so- 
cial activist, author, and community or- 
ganizer Mel King, who was one of the 
forces behind the creation of Roxbury 
Community College back in 1973. Pro- 
fessor King believes the negative public- 
ity at RCC can be easily overshadowed 



by all of the good the institution has 
done. Regarding this recent rash nega- 
tive press, Professor King said, "It im- 
pacts the whole community." 
In 1972, King and his group went be- 
fore numerous board of education 
meetings in various cities such as Bos- 
ton and Springfield to make their case 
and eventually sought approval from 
legislation to start a community college 
because as he put it, "There was a need 
for people in the community to have ac- 
cess to lower cost education." After se- 
curing this approval, he facilitated a con- 
nection between Mass Bay Community 



College and the Urban League to begin 
classes. He then, along with individu- 
als such as Representative Doris Bunte, 
worked diligently to secure the funds to 
build the school at its current location 
which was essential because it provided 
a situation comparable to other commu- 
nity colleges. Not only is it conveniently 
located off the MBTA Orange Line, but 
it also is in the heart of the Roxbury 
community where King said members 
of the community can see the college 
and "see students looking like them in 
college." 

So after the hard work that so many have 
put into establishing Roxbury Commu- 
nity College and its legacy, the recent 
negative publicity in the press has the 
potential to create as Professor King put 
it, a "difficulty of legitimacy." Needless 
to say, these articles do not leave a good 
impression for those previously unfa- 
miliar with RCC and also those consid- 
ering enrolling in the future. Professor 
King says that this creates an "under- 
current of belief amongst folks in the 
community that [RCC] is not as good as 
somewhere else." 

The questions arise and need to be asked 
as well as answered. Why are these 
points surfacing now? What are those 
in the media attempting to accomplish 
with this negative press? And perhaps 
most importantly: Where is the good 
publicity? Professor King acknowledg- 
es that there is room for improvement 
and that of course, we all can always do 
better, but "what is going on that keeps 
the positive stuff out of the press?" 
It is interesting to point out that this 
negative press is emerging a short time 
after the Boston Foundation issued a 
report that advised the state to transi- 
tion community colleges into workforce 
development centers, so that mid-level 
and entry level jobs could be filled. 
Though some students do enter the 



YOUR 

Opinion DQES 
Matter 





Sensational Headlines Prey 
on Deep-Seated Prejudices 



By Prof. Nikki Rabin 

Writing Center Associate 

No one likes to admit that he/she is 
prejudiced, or believes in stereotypes. 
I am among those who believe them- 
selves to be liberal and unbiased— I 
hold multiple degrees from liberal arts 
schools, teach university courses on race 
and racism, vote democratic, believe in 
social justice, have experienced racism 
myself, etc. But, if I am really honest 
with myself then I will have to admit 
that I have at some points believed in 
stereotypes, and one of those has been 
about Roxbury Community College. 
Before starting my recent job at the 
Writing Center at Roxbury Commu- 
nity College, I believed, like many other 
Bostonians, that Roxbury was unsafe. 
I didn't know much about the campus 
or the neighboring area. I live in the 
30-something, professional, tech-world 
of Kendall Square and had never even 
been on the orange line. What little I 
knew about Roxbury, I had gathered 
from local media or the hearsay of ac- 
quaintances. I had seen sensational sto- 
ries on the news about crimes commit- 
ted in Roxbury, the poverty rate of the 
area, and the effect of the recent hous- 
ing foreclosures. And, a friend of mine 
told me about how her car had been 
stolen off Marlborough Street in the 
Back Bay, stripped down, and left on the 
streets of Roxbury. These stories made 
up my limited, and filtered, familiarity to 
the community of Roxbury. 
Based on my exposure to the media rep- 
resentations of Roxbury and other areas 
affected by poverty, prior to my initial 
interview at RCC, I imagined the college 
campus to be run-down, perhaps with 
unpainted buildings and litter scattered 
everywhere. When I arrived on campus 
for that first time, I remember thinking 
how wrong I was. The campus has lush 
grass separating each of the quaint brick 
buildings. There are manicured paths, 
lined with flowering trees and stone 
benches. It was like walking through 



a park in one of the richest neighbor- 
hoods in Boston. The campus itself 
is situated on a major boulevard, just 
across the street from the T station. As 
I walked to my interview, I saw nothing 
of the Roxbury I had imagined. 
Once I started my job on campus an- 
other one of my prejudices was decon- 
structed. Since Roxbury Community 
College was in a depressed neighbor- 
hood, I initially worried that it would be 
unsafe. What I saw was that the college 
had taken security precautions, such as 
placing security guards on campus, con- 
structing a fence surrounding the actual 
grounds, and ensuring well-lit paths 
and buildings. Roxbury has done what 
all other college campuses can and have 
done to ensure the safety of their stu- 
dents, staff, and faculty. What impressed 
me the most about RCC was that out 
of all the schools where I have worked 
and/ or attended — including two pri- 
vate liberal arts colleges in Boston and a 
large state university in Hawaii— there is 
a stronger sense of community among 
the students, professors, and staff at 
Roxbury Community College. And, 
it seems that with this sense of com- 
munity comes a sense of integrity and 
concern for the safety, well-being, and 
reputation of their school. 
Whatever the discrepancy may be in the 
reporting of crime statistics at Roxbury 
Community College, it is apparent that 
the media is playing on the public's prej- 
udices against the impoverished com- 
munity of Roxbury and RCC. While we 
might be able to deny that this attention 
is a form of racism, we can address the 
ways in which this negative attention is 
very much a form of classism. Poverty 
and increased crime rates have become 
so entangled with each other in the 
public consciousness that it becomes 
very difficult to imagine that a school or 
students at a school, in an impoverished 
area would not have, or participate in, 
increased crime. The media is smart and 
making a sensational headline based on 
the deep-seated prejudices of this city. 



workforce utilizing the degrees or cer- 
tificates they've earned at RCC, a great 
majority of students go on to transfer to 
4-year institutions like Tufts, Northeast- 
ern, Boston University, Bentley Univer- 
sity or UMass-Boston. The article made 
no mention of the number of students 
that have obtained internships at MIT, 
Harvard, or Northeastern; the nursing 
program at RCC which boasts a high 
exam pass rate and is on par with any 
other in the state; or the MIT fellowship 
program which deals with Urban and 
Community Planning. In addition, this 
semester RCC will host its largest gradu- 
ating class in the history of the school. 
And recently, millions upon millions of 
dollars has been secured to support the 
life science program at RCC. 
Many positive things are occurring on 
this campus, and Professor King urges 
us to consider the role we have all played 
in accentuating the positive to overcome 
the negative. He urges us to examine 
"The Case for The Community Col- 
leges" prepared by the Boston Founda- 
tion. He reminds us that marching and 
demonstration are healthy things. He 
encourages us to ask questions and de- 
mand answers from the press, from the 
Board, from administration, from those 
individuals involved in the business 
meeting, and from ourselves. 



If change is desired and control of the 
direction of the school is the objective, 
according to Prof King, it "shouldn't 
happen with character assassination." 
The legacy of this school and this com- 
munity is one that should invoke pride 
every time one enters these halls. Pro- 
fessor King recognized the importance 
of RCC in its role modeling, in its belief 
that it instills, and the in the courses of- 
fered related to understanding the strug- 
gles as well as the job preparedness. 
And regardless of any outside percep- 
tion, or maybe because of it, this legacy 
needs to be continually elevated and 
strengthened. Professor Mel King re- 
minds us that the "student body needs 
to ask itself what do we need to do to 
make the climate, atmosphere, day-to- 
day relationships that show the kind 
of belief in the value of the institution 
and of each other. How do we build 
a community? How do we make sure 
the environment is the most education- 
ally supported?" How do we continue 
the legacy? 




4 Roxbury Community College Gateway Gazette - Special Issue - Late Spring 201 2 



Acting Independently in Journalism 



By Christian Williams 

Is conglomeration the greatest threat 
to free press in America? The code 
of ethics for journalist as laid out by 
the Society of Professional Journalists 
has as one of the four major tenants: 
"ACT INDEPENDENTLY: Journalists 
should be free of obligation to any inter- 
est other that the public's right to know." 



This is a serious requirement needed in 
order to execute one of the most im- 
portant roles of Journalists to serve as 
an independent monitor of power. Jour- 
nalism owes its very existence to that of 
being a check and illuminating presence 
in the face of corrupt government and 
abuses of power. Journalists since the 
beginning of their existence felt that 
the watchdog role is one of their most 
important responsibilities. "The earliest 



It is the second 
largest global media 
conglomerate, after 
AOL Time Warner, 

Viacom o 



Walt Disney o 

It's the third largest global 
media conglomerate, FY 
2000 revenues topped 
525 billion. 



AOL Time Warner 

The SLS5 billion mega-merger 

between AOL and Time Warner, 

approved by the FCC in 

January 200 L f is the largest 

media merger in history. The 

new company promises to offer 

a powerhouse of integrated 

communication,, media and 

entertainment across all 

platforms -- computer, phone, 

television and handheld 

wireless devices. 



Rupert Murdoch's News 
Corporation Ltd. has 
media holdings in the 
U.S., Canada, Europe, 
Australia, Latin America 
and Asia. 

News Corp 
o 



This private I y- owned 
German media 
conglomerate has 
interests in S00 companies 
in 53 countries. 

o Bertelsmann 



o Vivendi Universal 

This giant's subsidiary 
Universal Music Group is 
the number one music 
company in the world, 
with roughly Z2% of the 
1.999 global market, 



o 

Sony 

Sony made its name with 

electronics, but it now 

has more than 1,000 

subsidaries worldwide, 

many of them key 

media partners. 



journalists firmly established as a core 
principle their responsibility to examine 
the unseen corners of society," state Bill 
Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel in The Ele- 
ments of Journalism. 

Business conglomerates are by far the 
most powerful organizations in America 
and most other countries. We have of- 
ten seen how private interest buy elec- 
tions and governmental favor in third 
world countries and now as we seem to 
watch helplessly as the same happens in 
our country. Even the politician them- 
selves who benefit from this find it hard 
to cause reform because it is how the 
system works that got them into office. 
I believe the people; the majority of citi- 
zens of this country can cause a change 
in this area but are not because of the 
control the media conglomerates oper- 
ate over our attention. We look to jour- 
nalist to give us the information nec- 
essary to make sound decisions in our 
leaders and the policy's that govern our 
lives. When the large media conglomer- 
ates see policies that may be of threat 
to them do you think they report them? 
AOL Time Warner the largest media 
conglomerate owns more than 80 me- 
dia companies including TV Networks, 
Film, Internet, Music, Publishing, Maga- 
zine companies and sports teams (www. 
pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/ 
cool/giants). 



MTEMPIAZinnn 

A publication of staff and students at 

Roxbury Community College 

1234 Columbus Avenue, Roxbury Crossing, Massachusetts 02120 




Staff and students are invited to send letters to the editor, news 

tips, ideas for articles and photos and other information for 

the Gazette to writingcenter@roxbury. edu. All submissions 

are subject to editing and run on a space available basis. The 

opinions expressed in these pages do not necessarily reflect those of 

the newspaper. 

Faculty advisor: 
Judith Kahalas, Coordinator of The Writing Center 



The second largest Rupert Murdoch's 
News Corporation Limited also owns 
a staggering number of TV networks, 
newspapers, magazines, and Internet 
control. These organizations among 
others often display a very obvious so- 
cial and political ideology that is any- 
thing but impartial. They are very selec- 
tive on which candidates they report and 
often obviously support. These obser- 
vations lead to the conclusion that me- 
dia and business conglomerates are the 
most powerful organizations that need 



to be monitored in America and the 
world. If it is the responsibility of jour- 
nalists who work for these organizations 
to play that role then how can they Act 
Independently and be free of obliga- 
tion to an interest other that the public's 
right to know? The first thing any tyran- 
nical leader or organization must do to 
gain control of the population is to con- 
trol the media, the information flow. We 
must ensure this remains free for us to 
remain such. 




Prof. Julia Littlefield's Class 

Photo by Dr. Eric Entemann 





RCC student with Governor Patrick at "29 Who Shine" 

Photo by Dr. Milton Samuels 



1 


■ I J 






Lady Tigers at the Sports Banquet 2012 

Photo by Dr. Milton Samuels 



RCC students at MCC Academic Team Recognition Ceremony 

Photo by Nick Parkas 



The Gateway Gazette is 

the official publication of the 

student body of Roxbury 

Community College. 

Submissions from the college 

community are welcome. 

All submissions are subject 

to editing. Opinions stated 

within the paper are not 

necessarily endorsed by the 

newspaper staff. 

Editor: 

Prof. Judy Kahalas 
Prof. Quentin James 

Layout and Production: 

Dr. Milton Samuels 
Phuong Tang 

Staff Reporters: 

RCC faculty and students 





Evening Of Excellence - Photo by Dr. Milton Samuels